What Makes Booth Different
Flexibility. With only one required class, Chicago Booth most definitely takes a different approach to the process of getting an MBA. It does foster training in the “language of business,” as Boothies call it—the fundamentals of economics, statistics, and finance—however, the unique setup of the program means that students determine how they will meet the requirements of the degree. Chicago Booth is not a prescriptive environment, and the emphasis on, and appreciation for, ideas make it a place for mavericks and renegades as well as more traditional types.
A quant focus (and not just on finance). Chicago Booth possesses a strong reputation for its rigor, focus on analytics in all fields, and expertise in finance and economics—and marketing. The finance and economics faculty members at Chicago Booth are outstanding, led by professors such as Eugene F. Fama, whom many call “the father of modern finance.” Chicago Booth is both deserving and proud of its “quant” reputation, but that tends to overshadow strengths in other areas Booth has been actively improving over the last decade. Not surprisingly, when a Booth admissions representative is asked, “What’s the one thing that applicants should know about Chicago Booth?” the answer often mentions Chicago Booth’s strengths in academic areas outside of pure finance—particularly entrepreneurship and marketing.
A part-time program that’s bigger than the full-time program. Chicago Booth is a big school, with about 3,500 active graduate students enrolled at any one time. The bulk of these students come from the two part-time study options (one evening program and one weekend program), totaling about 1,400 students between them. Another 1,100 students make up the full-time program, with about 550 students per graduating class. The balance of Chicago Booth’s students are in the EMBA and PhD programs, and are found around the world at Chicago Booth’s other campuses. Full-time and part-time Chicago Booth students often interact and sometimes even take courses together.
A downtown space. In April 2014, Chicago Booth unveiled “Booth 455”: a 16,000-square-foot space on the ground level of the famed NBC Tower, across the street from its current Gleacher Center. Although the space is intended primarily for the weekend and evening MBA programs, all MBA students are able to access the study rooms. The new space is especially welcome since most full-time students live in downtown Chicago and not near the Hyde Park campus.